The picturesque Lathom Park Chapel of St John the Divine, set in the beautiful countryside near to Lathom Hall, was again this year, the setting for the Ormskirk and Bootle Group’s carol service. The congregation, consisting of 83 Masons, their families, friends and some of the residents and staff from the Tithebarn Residential Home, gathered to celebrate the advent of Christmas.
Present at the service was the Deputy Provincial Grand Master Philip Gunning, Assistant Provincial Grand Master Frank Umbers, accompanied by his wife Cathy, Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals Anthony Hall, Ormskirk and Bootle Group Chairman and Vice Chairman Graham Chambers and Malcolm Alexander respectively.
On arrival at the chapel, the congregation were greeted by festive music being played on the chapel’s organ by the organist for this service, Raymond Massey of Eureka Lodge No 3763.
The service commenced with the Reverend Pauline Bicknell warmly welcoming everyone, with the Christmas story being explained by the reading of nine lessons, each lesson presented at intervals throughout the service, with the accompaniment of many traditional Christmas carols, again being played by Raymond on the organ and sung with enthusiasm by the whole congregation.
Each of the lessons were read in turn, starting with Frank Umbers (representing the Province of West Lancashire), followed by Graham Chambers, Mrs Maureen Williams (representing the Bootle Ladies Club), Malcolm Alexander, Robert Midgley WM of Rufford Lodge No 7217 (representing the Charnock Richard lodges and chapters), Kenneth Meath, first principal of Fermor Hesketh Chapter No 1350 (representing the principles and companions of the group), Philip Stansbie, WM of Stanley of Lathom Abbey Lodge No 6286 (representing the masters and brethren of the Ormskirk and Bootle Group of Lodges), Malcolm Sandywell the group charity steward and the Reverend Pauline Bicknell.
The service being completed, the members of the congregation were able to enjoy a mince pie and a glass of sherry, which was served by the ladies from the chapel, who were assisted by a couple of members from the group. All those who attended the service would have undoubtedly felt the Christmas spirit within the group for the coming festive season.